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Garage door rollers or wheels can be an integral part of how safe, smooth and quite your garage door operates. Rollers are made in various qualities in a number of different materials and sizes to meet the effective use of the end user. Determining the correct type of garage door rollers for your garage door can be a little confusing, especially when you do not know what you need to look for in a garage door roller. To simplify things, there are a couple of primary things you need to be aware of. First would be the actual size of the roller, and 2nd is the purpose and conditions you will be operating your door in.

The material can vary
on both the garage door roller itself, as well as on the stem. Each material features its own pros and cons, and knowing your own priorities, necessities, and expectations on your garage door can help you pick a wheel that will best serve you. The materials of a garage door roller can influence just how long the roller lasts, how resistant it is against high-moisture environments, how quiet the garage door will be, and how heavy of a door the roller can accommodate. Your first concern, in any situation, would be to determine a garage door roller that can accept the weight of your garage door without wearing out prematurely. The safest method to replace your garage door roller is to look at the material that your garage door rollers are currently made out of. However, if you were considering upgrading your rollers, it might be good to know the weight your garage door. Oftentimes, the weight of the door will be located on a sticker somewhere on the garage door or perhaps the spring shaft.

Roller sizes are rather standard in the garage door business.
It is usually a one inch, two inch, or three inch diameter on the wheel itself. You can very easily find out this measurement by placing a ruler across the face of the roller. In addition to the diameter of the roller, you need to know the entire length of the stem itself as well. You can get that measurement by measuring the full length of the stem up to where the roller is on the stem. The measurement you will get is not always going to be an exact measurement of 1", 2", or 3" rollers. A 3" roller will typically measure out to be about 2-3/4", while a 2" roller will measure out to be a 1-3/4", and a 1" roller will measure out around 3/4". In addition, the shaft of almost every roller will be a diameter of 7/16 of an inch, which is the typical industry standard. You will likely not need to worry about that measurement unless you have a much older door. If you've got a very old door a simple quick measurement of the stem diameter using a ruler or caliper would not hurt. Knowing this measurement, you can observe what size works with you current configuration.

One of the next priorities
when choosing a roller would be to determine if your garage door is in a high-moisture environment or not. Rollers made with stainless steel or zinc plating are made that way because they are resistant of rust. Under normal conditions, they are utilized in spaces like car washes, dairy barns and other high-moisture environments. If you do not have a high-moisture location, there isn't an expressed requirement for a stainless steel or zinc plated roller, but if you've had a rust problem in the past, it's probably wise that you will get rollers that are resilient against rust. An area where you may choose to use a corrosion resistant roller is in a colder climate that has snow and salt. A corrosion resistant roller will prevent the bottom rollers from rusting out and failing prematurely.

Once you have determined the environment your door operates in the next decision is between how quiet you want your garage door to be, how much money you want to invest, and how long you would like the rollers to last. If smooth quite operation is what you are looking for then a nylon or rubber roller needs to be on your list. Additionally, the number of balls in the bearing for the roller can drastically effect how loud your garage door will be. The more ball bearings inside the garage door roller there are, the quieter and smoother the garage door will run. Additionally, rollers with more ball bearings in them tend to last considerably longer than ones with fewer ball bearings. Typically the more ball bearings the more expensive the roller.

Ultimately,
comprehending the cycle life of a garage door wheel is important as well to picking a garage door wheel especially in commercial applications. The ratings are fairly simple to understand. The rating for our 3 10 ball 7 steel is as follows around 50000 cycles on a 12 foot high door at approximately 150lbs per roller. A single roller does not support the entire weight of the door, so this should not be alarming. So if we take that into perspective it means that using this particular roller on a door with ten rollers on it, the rollers could lift a 1500lb door that is 12 ft. high approximately 50,000 times before it breaks or fails. Mind you, such a door is very large, and likely is not what you have. However it gives you a glimpse into the strength of these rollers. If your rollers are too weak to lift the door, the roller will break a lot more quickly than under normal circumstances, so make sure pick something that can support the weight of the garage door.

To summarize, the pros of steel rollers are that they last longer than nylon on large applications, they handle higher loads, and they tend to be a little bit cheaper. The con is that they are much louder than nylon rollers and are much less tolerant to moisture. Nylon rollers have the benefit of smooth operation, lightweight design and quietness, but they tend to break if impacted. As for the stems, if you need rust resistance, get zinc plated or stainless steel, otherwise just regular steel will suffice. The number of ball bearings can greatly manipulate the cost, but as you add more ball bearings, the roller lasts longer and runs quieter.

The most common roller used on a residential garage door is a 7 ball bearing steel roller in a 2 diameter tire with a shaft length around 4. These rollers are good for universal use and have a load rating of 35lbs and are good for around 10,000 cycles. You can find this style roller in many hardware or big box stores. If you are looking to upgrade to a heavy duty roller for your residential door we might recommend you upgrade to a 10 ball bearing roller which has a working load of 75lbs and cycle life doubles to nearly 20,000. If you are looking for the ultimate in maintenance free and the quietest garage door rollers for your home we would suggest the white vinyl standard 11 ball bearing roller. The rollers that we carry are of a much higher quality than what you will find at your local hardware store. You could also check with a local door dealer but we have found their selection isn't as good and door dealers are not always willing to sell retail.

When contemplating replacing worn or damaged garage door rollers
as being a DIY project it is very important that you do them one-by-one to maintain the integrity of your garage door and not to comprise your safety. Always remember your bottom rollers are usually held in place by the bottom bracket or fixture. Your garage door bottom bracket typically has all the spring tension attached to it via the door lifting cables. The bottom bracket should never be removed when spring tension is live on the door. If you are not knowledgeable about this process you should contact a professional door company to complete the repairs for you.


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Garage Door Roller Replacement